Thank you so much for taking the time to get to know a little about us and our dream to become parents. Of course, we hope more than anything that through these pages, you feel a connection to us and that you may want to build a relationship with us so that your baby can complete our family. But we also feel in our hearts that no matter what, by just taking the time to read our book, you are part of our journey to becoming parents. And this alone means more to us that we could ever express in this moment.
We know that this journey for us and the decision you are faced with is being made out of the deepest kind of love there is and this is something we will always have in common. We admire your courage, and we respect whatever decision you make.
We are excited and humbled just knowing you are even considering us as adopting parents for your baby. We would be honored to get to know you and answer any questions you may have for us.
With love and gratitude,
Jen and Pranshanth
From the time we got married, we always knew we wanted to have kids. To be honest, adoption was always on our mind as it has a very special place in our hearts as Jen's mom was adopted at birth. So from the very beginning, this truly felt like the right way for us to start our family. We believe that family is made up of those you love and those who share that love with you in return.
Our promise to you is that your child will be raised in a home and a family with above all else, unconditional love. Things that are important to us and that we will share with your child are to always keep an open mind, to be curious and always ask questions, and to try to sympathize with others experiences. We believe that understanding another person's perspective can really help us to be more accepting of others.
We also promise to give your child every opportunity to live life to its fullest. We will make sure that they can have the chance to see the world. These are experiences we have treasured first hand and cannot wait to share our adventures as a family of three.
As much as we have our own separate hobbies, we also share a lot in common. We are both big outdoor enthusiasts. We love the spring and summer months, eating meals outside on the patio, gardening and hiking. Despite its name, Purgatory Chasm is a fun hiking spot we go to often, climbing over rocks and walking through the wooded areas. We both love the seasons we get here in the northeast. During the winter, Prash and I have been snowboarding a handful of times and we hope to get out for more this coming winter! During the warmer months, one of our newer shared hobbies is gardening.
About two years ago we built three raised beds that are now home to eggplants, three types of tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, kale and peas. Being able to step outside and grab whatever we need for a fresh dinner salad has been really special for us. We are excited to share this experience of connecting with nature like this with a child one day.
Baking is something else we do together. Whole wheat bread, banana bread, New York style bagels, English muffins and a bunch of different cakes can be found in our oven throughout the year. One of our favorite things is to bake for friends and family - the bigger the spread the better!
I have known Jen almost all my life. We met in middle school when we were just 12 years old! At heart, she is the same person that I knew back then - and now, just a little older and wiser 🙂
Jen has always had a passion for helping others. Using her voice and her time for causes she is passionate about is something I really admire about her. Jen is not the type of person to sit around and watch the world's injustices - she would rather be involved to help make the world a better place for us and for the next generations.
We have always loved to be outdoors together, riding bikes, playing tennis and just anything really being active. Since we've been married, we have traveled to a dozen countries, hiked hundreds of trails and eaten just about any kind of food - and at the end of all of these exciting adventures, my memory is still the same - the girl that I met over 30 years ago that was just as happy and excited when we used to bike a few miles from our houses to the middle school to play tennis!
After having jobs as a social worker, journalist and retail gigs, Jen now works in healthcare. This does not surprise me at all as she has always wanted to help and educate those around her. On the weekends, when there is a local rally speaking against the injustices that are happening in the world - she is there lending voice to those who cannot. We have been to so many rallies, especially in the last few years, and more-so these days!
Jen is still really active. Nothing can keep her from getting her runs in, even in 15 degree weather! She also likes reading and listening to all kinds of music from the Stones and the Kinks to Stevie Wonder and Nina Simone, to rap and pop. She loves the Cabaret soundtrack and always tells me that Scottish music isn't bad, either!
Not long after Prashanth moved with his family to the United States, our paths crossed in our middle school cafeteria. Had I known at the time that I was meeting my future husband at age 12, I may have tried to impress him more than I did! All these years later, I remember a skinny kid with a mop of black hair putting his tray next to mine when he sat down next to me. Prashanth is the kind of guy who will befriend anyone, even a shy girl like me. His warmth and open-mindedness has allowed him to have incredible friendships with people from all walks of life. He is caring and loyal and just an amazing human who I am lucky to call my husband.
Engineering is in Prashanth's blood. I remember him "rescuing" from my parent's trash an old touch lamp they no longer wanted so that he could take it apart and rebuild it in his free time. He would never brag about all of his hard work that went into his two master's degrees, so I do that for him 😉 His work with a cyber security company has given him the opportunity to travel and see new places, something he has really enjoyed.
When not at work, Prashanth uses him down-time for watching movies (he's a Bond guy) and chasing after outdoor activities. Long dog walks are a "standing order" in our home, a responsibility he enjoys because it gets him exercising every day. Although he claims not to be a reader, I often find him diving into online news articles about current events.
Anyone who has known Prashanth knows that he is happiest when he's in the kitchen - baking English muffins and fresh-baked bagels. Most Sundays, our house smells like a bakery... Every brunch of eggs and avocados and fruit smoothies needs to be rounded out with fresh baked carbs!
I know Prash is going to be an amazing father and I cannot wait to see him share his love with a little one.
One of my favorite things about Lou is that no matter how bad of a day I am having, he can make me laugh. I haven't figured out how he does it, but there is no possible way of staying in a bad mood around him.
WHERE WE LIVE
For us, home is really where the heart is. We feel so much calm, satisfaction and a sense of belonging to the community. We were home shopping for over three years before we found the house we now call home. When we took our first five to ten steps into the house, we both looked at each other and said that this was the house for us and we knew right away that it would be a great place to raise a child. Our realtor was Prashanth's dad so he was able to help make sure we got the house of our dreams.
Our neighborhood (almost a cul-de-sac) has kids from as young as a few months to high-school age and we love seeing them all come out and play in the summer months. Along with the kids, we are also visited by a bunch of animals including turtles, foxes, turkeys and there are always hawks and hummingbirds flying around. And, one of our neighbors is a beekeeper and has bees in his backyard which helps us with our garden.
When we host birthday parties, Thanksgiving or friends' baby showers, everyone comments that there is a sense of comfort the minute you enter and just sit down in the living room - even when there are over 30 people all having a good time.
Sassy the Beagle - that's the official name of our beagle corgi mix. It took us a few years to realize the Corgi in her (her butt hair is a dead giveaway, LOL). She's got one of the best temperaments of dogs that we've met and had through the ages. She rarely barks, and walks around the house at night to make sure that there's no else around (yes, even the bathroom for, what we call "ghost checks") before going to bed. If we do not let her do this check, she will wake up at 2 AM, jump out and walk around the house, and then come back to bed. She joined our family when she was four and had just given birth to a litter. We pretty much knew from the moment we saw her that she was meant to be with us. She is our constant companion. Even in her older age (she's 14 now), she is still really curious and protective of her pack, especially Jen and kids. She still tries to snuggle in bed with us. When we eat, bake, or and cook together, she's right there waiting for her (fair!) share. Even at 14, we take her for long walks around the neighborhood which she still loves!
Between our parents, siblings, nephews, cousins and friends, we are surrounded by amazing, down to earth people who truly love us. Our family and friends come from all different backgrounds and experiences and we love this diversity around us - it makes life interesting!
When we host Thanksgiving, we tend to invite (besides our family, of course) anyone in the neighborhood that might not have family to celebrate with. We never want people to feel alone and our network of loved ones is far reaching.
As we have come together to start our own family, we feel lucky to be able to bring all of these traditions from both of our families together. Although the meaning behind our traditions might differ, a few things are always the same - they usually involve food and bringing us together in some way.
Jen and I of course have our own set of traditions that are unique to us. For example JFF (Junk Food Friday!) is a favorite basically we load up on junk food, be it pizza, Mexican food or candy and just relax and watch a movie until 2 AM or until we tell each other that we won't do it again next week because we end up feeling so stuffed. Then there is cleaning on Sundays which starts with a too huge for two people homemade brunch and ends with us cleaning the house, top to bottom. We are looking forward to building on these traditions as we grow our family - it would be so much fun for a child to to create some traditions as well!
Thanksgiving is strictly Jen's but it has since been modified. So yes, we still have turkey dinner with all the fixings but now we add some Indian food to the mix. When we first hosted Thanksgiving 12 years ago, we started with five people at our table. Now we have 7 families and over 20 people to share our meal with. We have many friends and neighbors who do not have family nearby and they are always welcome with open arms (and we send them home with leftovers!). We also started with serving 3 or 4 dishes to about 12 now, including a few different desserts 🙂
We also honor some Indian traditions. Prashanth's parents host some of the holidays including a big new years Pooja which takes place in the August/September. This ritual also falls around the last harvest and beginning of a new school year - so almost a catch all to celebrate the old year and the new year all together. We have attended this since we've been married and usually we celebrate with over 75 people!
We both love to travel but we joke that it's in Prashanth's DNA. He loves finding new places for us to discover and people to meet. Some of our favorite spots have been Italy, Morocco, India and Spain. And of course the beaches of the Caribbean fit squarely into our love of sand and surf. Our next adventure will be to Hawaii, somewhere neither of us has been. We dream about taking that trip with a child one day. We are pretty sure we can find some local hot-spots to dine at and some off-the-beaten, not-too-touristy things to do!
We understand that the decision you are about to make is not an easy one. It is complicated and even with the heartache, we know it is full of love. We thank you for having the courage to make the decision to provide for your child a home not your own and for trusting others to love your baby, as much as you already love him or her.
Most important to us is raising a happy and healthy child into adulthood. We are confident that with unconditional love, we will raise your child to be open-minded and honest, curious about the world and the people in it. Your baby will always know how we became a family and the love that you showed him/her.
We have known from the beginning that our family would be incomplete without a child in our lives. We hope that we have been able to show you the kind of life your baby would have with us and we would be honored to have a chance to get to know you along the way.